Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Obama as Reagan

I thought that this opinion piece from the New York Times today provided an interesting perspective on the way that Obama might take some lessons from Ronald Reagan. I was never a fan of Ronald Reagan at the time he was president. And I still have serious disagreements with pretty much most of his ideas. But over time I have come to respect more things about Reagan. One thing I did learn is that he was a man who cared about words and wrote many of his own. I also believe that words matter.

Some of the points that struck me reading this piece.
  • Reagan also became president at a time of economic crisis.
  • He understood that getting the economy on a good footing was the necessary foundation for transformational changes he wanted to make in what government was about.
  • He had to build coalitions with Democrats and keep some of his conservative supporters at bay in order to pass legislation that was important to him.
  • When he made some key deals, he kept his word.
Obama about Reagan from his autobiography: ““Reagan spoke to America’s longing for order, our need to believe that we are not simply subject to blind, impersonal forces but that we can shape our individual and collective destinies, so long as we rediscover the traditional virtues of hard work, patriotism, personal responsibility, optimism and faith.”

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